Religion and Politics, Then and Now

Paul endorsed the Roman status quo, politically. He made the real issue identification with a descended (divine) savior, spiritually raised and soon to return. The Jerusalem group shared the last point but emphatically not the first two of Jesus’ divinity nor acquiescence to Roman rule. Their expected Messiah (dramatically shifted after his death to a returning one) would establish peace with Jewish centrality and abolish the MILITARY dominance of other kingdoms but not the existence of other nations.

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A Lenten Journey

When we look at the entire story of Jesus, including his teachings as well as his life, it seems clear his path always presumed a spiritual death before one could experience new life or rebirth. His hodos required a death to the old before there could be a birthto a new way of seeing, a new way of understanding and experiencing life.

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Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation

In this startling and timely book, Pagels returns The Book of Revelation to its historical origin, written as its author John of Patmos took aim at the Roman Empire after what is now known as “the Jewish War,” in 66 CE. Militant Jews in Jerusalem, fired with religious fervor, waged an all-out war against Rome’s occupation of Judea and their defeat resulted in the desecration of Jerusalem and its Great Temple.

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Study Guide for the 8 Points of Progressive Christianity 2012

This Study Guide is for the third edition (2011) of the “8 Points” that have both identified and guided ProgressiveChristianity.org (formerly The Center for Progressive Christianity) since the organization’s founding in 1994.

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Born to Die?: Why the Cross Doesn’t Belong at Christmas

December 12, 2012 Yesterday, I passed a church sign that proclaimed Christmas was the story of a baby born to die. It seemed a macabre, odd way to wish passersby a merry Christmas. Apparently, though, quite a few …

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A Light in the Darkness

For reasons I cannot explain, I have often find myself as an adult mired in a bit of darkness during the Christmas holidays. This year has been no exception. I am a little surprised, since I have …

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Be Born In Me, Music Video, by Francesca Battistelli

THIS VIDEO BELONGS TO MAX LUCADO, RANDY FRANZEE, AND FRANCESCA BATTISTELLI To purchase or download this video: http://www.olivebranchcreative.com/the-story-downloads Lyrics: Everything inside me cries for order Everything inside me wants to hide Is this shadow an angel or …

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Understanding “The Gospel”: Why Authorship Claims Matter Dramatically – Part 2 B

But the loss of their key center and probably the main leadership and overall strength of the movement opened the way for Pauline Christian influence which is clear particularly in Luke (both his Gospel and Acts).

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Jesus and Identity: Reconstructing Judean Ethnicity in Q (Matrix: The Bible in Mediterranean Context)

A socio-cultural model of Judean ethnicity is developed, being a synthesis of (1) Sanders’ notion of covenantal nomism, (2) Berger and Luckmann’s theories on the sociology of knowledge, (3) Dunn’s “four pillars of Second Temple Judaism” and his “new perspective” on Paul, (4) cultural or social anthropology in the form of modern ethnicity theory, and, lastly, (5) Duling’s Socio-Cultural Model of Ethnicity.

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Walking in Their Sandals: A Guide to First-Century Israelite Ethnic Identity

This volume invites readers to walk in Israelite sandals, that is, to take a journey of the imagination, and to immerse themselves in the identity, values, and institutions of first-century CE Israelites with the help of contemporary social-scientific studies and theories.

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Understanding “The Gospel”: Why Authorship Claims Matter Dramatically – Part 2

The great dividing line for two religions and the relationship between them is the period of 66-70 CE, which ended in the destruction of both Jerusalem and the great “Second Temple”. For Jews of the time this destroyed the political, economic and religious organization of Israel….

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The Affliction of Affluence

Reconciling Gratitude, Generosity & Greed

The common dream most people have of one day having more than they already have seems to have remained as fleeting and elusive as ever. Meanwhile, the gross disparity and widening gap in this country between the haves and the have-nots has reached a point where an oligarchy of corporate interests posing as individuals shape public opinion and outspend each other as never before in partisan attempts to buy an election.

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What Does Rabbi Gamaliel have To Do with New Testament Interpretation?

So in a round-about way, Gamaliel, as quoted by Luke, is giving us a powerful clue about what kind of literature the Gospels are — a unique mix of a few core historical events with lots of theological overlay, all blended with a good dose of the kinds of stories of miraculous signs that we know were common and sometimes persuasive in that day. And not surprisingly…. They still are today!

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Who Is God and How Do We Know?

God is persuasive love, containing but somehow still beyond all that we can grasp, and within whom “we live and move and have our being.”

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Progressive Christianity and the Bible

Fred Plumer, President of ProgressiveChristianity.org, provides a historical context for the formation of the sacred compilation known as the Bible.

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Messiah’s Resurrection and Messianic Jewish Belief

I’ve titled this as about the Resurrection, which is just one part of a complex of beliefs… but let’s return and end there… What similarities or differences do you see in Paul’s Resurrection statements and beliefs and those of the early Jerusalem Jesus-followers?

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Mark’s Enigmas: One or Many Stories?

Mark’s Gospel has often been described as a “enigma’ and this can apply both to the whole of Mark’s text, as well as to nearly all of its mysterious contents. There is not just one story-line, one discourse or one dimension to its depicted characters but Mark presents many and various aspects within his Gospel. This enigma involving multiple dimensions, levels and stages are in evidence in the following five important and multiple aspects of Mark’s Gospel.

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First Light Home Edition

First Light: Jesus and the Kingdom of God is a 12-episode DVD study of the historical Jesus and the Kingdom of God with John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg, two of the world’s leading Jesus scholars, on location throughout the Galilee and Jerusalem, now available in a Home Edition for personal home viewing.

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